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Reasons Why Deferring Retirement Might Ward Off Dementia

by Webmaster Admin on May 1st, 2022

We have all heard someone say it:

“I’ve decided to keep working beyond retirement age to keep my mind sharp.” Today, that widely held notion has some science behind it.

Three (3) researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany have released a study showing measurable differences in cognitive decline between those who bow out of the workforce earlier versus later in life. Some of the differences were stark.

The team utilized data from the Health and Retirement Study, an extensive ongoing database of information of 20,000 Americans maintained by the University of Michigan. 

The authors of this study did not try to pinpoint an optimal retirement age — that would depend heavily on individual circumstances — but their results do suggest that working until age 67 (vs. retiring between age 55 and 66) can ward off the type of cognitive decline suffered by people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Subjects in the study averaged a full one-third reduction in typical cognitive declines observed in people aged 61 to 67. The positive effects can be enduring, say the study authors, lasting from age 67 at least through age 74.

One surprising finding was that it did not appear to matter exactly what kind of work participants did — whether it was highly brain-intensive or nearly mindless. It all seemed to offer some protective effects against cognitive decline.

Therefore, for many personal and financial reasons, we should consider the benefits of deferring retirement to protect and preserve our mental health and well being 

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